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Death Toll From Israeli Airstrikes Tops 120

Overnight Saturday, Israeli airstrikes hit more than 60 targets, including a mosque in Gaza where Hamas was believed to be hiding weapons.
Posted at 8:20 AM, Jul 12, 2014

​Israel says it won't let up unless Hamas backs down. Saturday marks the fifth straight day of airstrikes on the Gaza Strip. Via Getty Images

The Twitter account for the Israeli Defense Forces said the airstrikes hit 60 targets overnight. That makes for over 1,000 strikes since the operation began less than a week ago. (Via Twitter / @IDFSpokesperson

This video from RT shows the aftermath. Health officials in Gaza say more than 120 Palestinians have died in Israel's air offensive, with over 900 wounded.

​Israel says it's been left with no alternative, and here’s why, according to The Washington Post. "Military leaders in Hamas live alongside their families, and the group hides its weapons in neighborhoods and launches rockets from back yards and agricultural fields." 

Saturday, the IDF struck a mosque in Gaza where Hamas was thought to be hiding weapons, which as The New York Timesnotes, is “likely to fan Palestinian outrage during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

And while Israel continues with its airstrikes, analysts say the possibility of a ground campaign looks more likely.

​And Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hasn’t ruled it out.

“No country on earth would remain passive in the face of hundreds of rockets fired on its cities. And Israel is no exception.” (Via YouTube / IsraeliPM

So far, no deaths in Israel where the country’s sophisticated Iron Dome anti-missile system has been intercepting unrelenting rocket fire from Hamas, as seen in this video released by the army. (Via Israeli Defense Forces

Meanwhile, there are few signs of Hamas or Israel coming to the negotiating table any time soon, despite calls from the international community for both sides to exercise restraint.

Egypt is again working to bring the two sides to a truce. Egypt has historically been a mediator between the two, and brokered the last cease-fire in 2012. (Via Euronews

But this time around, ties between Hamas and Egypt's current government are strained. At home, Egypt is trying to crush the Muslim Brotherhood, of which Hamas is an offshoot. (Via ITN)

A writer at Haaretz explains why Israel's airstrikes against Hamas put Egypt in a difficult position: “As far as the government in Cairo is concerned, Hamas is the little sister of the Muslim Brotherhood, which it has declared a terror group. Hamas, naturally, doesn’t see Egypt as an honest broker.”

In a phone call to his Israeli counterpart Thursday, President Obama offered to help negotiate a cease-fire. Though it's unclear what role the U.S. would play, considering it labels Hamas a terrorist organization and bans contact with its leaders.